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ROBERTSON, FM Sir William (1860-1933)
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ROBERTSON, FM Sir William (1860-1933)

  • Collection
  • 1898-1930

Pre-war papers and correspondence, 1898-1914, including lectures, texts and notes written whilst Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley, Surrey. Papers relating to his service as Quartermaster General to the BEF (British Expeditionary Force), Western Front, 1914-1915, including correspondence with Maj Gen Sir Stanley Brenton von Donop, Master General of the Ordnance, and Maj Gen Sir John Steven Cowans, Quartermaster General to the Forces, relating to supplies of equipment, provisions and munitions. Papers and correspondence, 1915, as Chief of General Staff, BEF (British Expeditionary Force), Western Front, principally comprising reports and memoranda prepared for the War Office and the War Council by General Headquarters Staff, 1915; memoranda relating to general military strategy, 1915, notably in the Balkans, Dardanelles, Gallipoli and Egypt; papers in French concerning the Allied Conference at Chantilly, 1915. Papers relating to service as Chief of the Imperial General Staff during World War One, 1915- 1918, principally comprising Army Council and War Cabinet papers relating to manpower, 1915-1918; papers of FM Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and Broome, Secretary of State for War, given to Robertson following Kitchener's death in Jun 1916; personal telegrams, 1916- 1917, mainly comprising unofficial messages to and from various army commanders and military attachés in Salonika, Russia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Italy, Romania, Palestine and the Western Front; memoranda and papers on military operations in the Middle East, 1915-1917, and general strategy, 1917-1918, prepared by Robertson for the War Cabinet; documents relating to the creation of the Allied Supreme War Council, and its various powers and functions, 1917-1918. Papers created as Commander in Chief, Eastern Command and Home Forces, 1918-1919, consisting of inspection reports of various depots and units in the UK, and general correspondence. Papers created as General Officer Commanding in Chief, BAOR (British Army of the Rhine), 1919-1920, including printed memoranda by French Marshal Ferdinand Foch, Allied Supreme Commander on the Western and Italian Fronts, on the conditions required to ensure peace in Europe, 1918-1919; papers relating to the organisation and functions of the British Zone of Occupation in Germany, 1919; correspondence with Gen Sir Henry Hughes Wilson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the Rt Hon Winston (Leonard Spencer) Churchill, Secretary of State for War, and Maj Gen Sir Charles 'Tim' Harington Harington, Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1919; inspection reports of BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) units, 1919. Private correspondence, mainly relating to Robertson's work during World War One, including correspondence with Lt Col Arthur John Bigge, 1st Baron Stamfordham, Private Secretary to HM King George V, 1914-1918; Maj Gen Charles Edward Callwell, Director of Military Operations at the War Office, 1915; Gen Sir Archibald (James) Murray, Chief of the Imperial General Staff and General Officer Commanding in Chief, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 1915-1916; the Rt Hon David Lloyd George, Secretary of State for War, 1916, and Prime Minister, 1916-1918; FM Sir Douglas Haig, Commander in Chief, British Armies in France, 1915-1918; Maj Gen Frederick (Barton) Maurice, Director of Military Operations at the War Office, 1917-1918; and the Rt Hon Winston (Leonard Spencer) Churchill, Secretary of State for War, 1919-1920. Also including correspondence, memoranda and notes concerning the events leading up to the resignation of Robertson as Chief of the Imperial General Staff in Feb 1918, dated Jan-Feb 1918. Semi-official papers and private correspondence, 1915-1918, collected by Brig Gen Cecil Courtenay Lucas, Robertson's Aide de Camp, mainly comprising correspondence between Robertson and Gen Sir Archibald (James) Murray, Gen Sir Beauchamp Duff, Gen Sir Charles Carmichael Monro, and Gen Sir Edward Henry Hynman Allenby, relating to military operations in India, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Palestine, 1916-1918; Lt Col Sir Maurice Pascal Alers Hankey, Secretary to the War Cabinet and the Committee of Imperial Defence, 1916-1917; Lt Gen the Rt Hon Jan Christian Smuts, South African Representative on the British War Cabinet, 1917; Gen Sir (Francis) Reginald Wingate, Governor General of the Sudan, 1916, and High Commissioner of Egypt, 1917; and Lt Col Charles A'Court Repington, Military Correspondent of The Times, 1916-1917. General correspondence with various on military matters, 1916-1918, including Reginald Baliol Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher, Lt Gen George Francis Milne, French Gen Robert Georges Nivelle, Italian Gen Luigi Cadorna, Lt Gen Sir Frederick Stanley Maude, and Gen Sir Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer.

Robertson, Sir William Robert, 1860-1933, 1st Baronet, Field Marshal

Papers relating to a War Office war game exercise, 1905, intended to test British protection of Belgian neutrality in the event of a war between Germany and France

Bound volume entitled 'Records of a strategic war game', prepared by the Directorate of Military Operations, General Staff, War Office, describing the preliminary work and the course of operations, and providing a summary and conclusion, for an exercise by the Directorate, under the command of Maj Gen James Moncrieff Grierson, Director of Military Operations, exploring the military protection of Belgian neutrality by Great Britain during a Franco-German war. Robertson acted as Commander of the German Forces. 1 vol.

Memo by Robertson, 'The military resources of France, and probable method of their deployment in a war between France and England', 1901, with an update, 1903

Printed memorandum written by Robertson in 1901, as Assistant Quartermaster General in the Intelligence Section of the War Office, entitled 'The military resources of France, and probable method of their employment in a war between France and England'. The original document has been corrected, and an additional memoranda by Robertson noting developments by 1903 is attached. 14pp.

Text by Robertson on the impracticality of a proposed alliance with Germany against Russian expansion in the Middle East, 1902

Paper by Robertson on a proposed alliance between Germany and Great Britain in order to forestall Russian expansion in the Middle East, giving reasons why such an alliance would not be practicable or worthwhile, and Germany should be regarded as a rival rather than an ally. With a covering letter from Lt Gen Sir William Gustavus Nicholson, Director General of Military Intelligence. 11pp.

Paper by the Director of Military Operations, 'Memorandum upon the military forces required for over-sea warfare', 1906

Printed paper by Maj Gen James Montcrieff Grierson, Director of Military Operations, entitled 'Memorandum upon the military forces required for over-sea warfare', giving estimates as to the number of troops which should be dispatched during the first six months of theoretical conflicts with Boer South Africa, France, Germany, the US and Russia. 16pp.

Staff College paper, [1906], arguing the need for an national British army prepared for war in Europe, not in Asia

Anonymous Staff College paper entitled 'The true standard of our military needs', disputing the view that Russian aggression towards Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier of India is the greatest military threat faced by the British Army, and highlighting the need for a scheme for the creation of a National Army based upon European, not Asiatic, conditions. The paper is annotated by Robertson with comments upon the army reforms proposed by the Rt Hon Richard Burdon Haldane, Secretary of State for War. 12pp.

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